“If the federal government has the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, warned the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions’ authors (James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, respectively), it will continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on government power.”
–Thomas E. Woods
The decade from 2000 and 2009 may well go down in American History as the decade where the checks and balances system finally failed. The American Federal state had always sought an agglomeration of power and influence. Historical trends from the scrapping of The Articles of Confederation to the defeat of the Confederate States of America to the New Deal and The Great Society all offered us examples of this tendency to grasp and centralize.
However, the events of 2009 have truly represented a Rubicon crossed. Prior efforts to collect power in Washington, DC had support throughout much of the populace and were undertaken in part because of widespread public demand. This year, we have witnessed the passing of legislation calling for government intervention into the private economy and severe energy rationing that majorities of American voters oppose on principal. Quite simply, the governing philosophy in Versailles Upon The Potomac these days was once accurately described by Brennus of Gaul. “Vae Victus.”
Health Care Reform, Cap and Trade and Economic Stimulus through Federal spending all poll under 50% support. All three remain on President Obama’s agenda. While the Senate balks at Cap and Trade in the wake of The ClimateGate scandal and the circus at Copenhagen, they have rammed healthcare through and await only the negotiations to merge essentially similar House and Senate governmental unfunded mandates. They do so in complete disdain of what they are being told by the American People.
This dissonance creates a sense of non-representation in American Democracy. Protest movements such as The Tea Party Movement have given voice to this belief that the average politician governs based upon the moral principal of “I won.” One possible ramification of this baronial arrogance and neglect of the American People could be a reprisal of The Federalist Movement. State Governments would again attempt to exert the right of nullification against the perceived unjust ukases of the Steroid State on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Most arguments to nullify Federal law rest upon the gravamen of the10th Amendment found in The Bill of Rights. This amendment states the following.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Recent efforts include efforts to curtail Federal gun control laws in Montana. Another nullification movement has attempted to prevent Federal interference with state regulation of Marijuana. Twenty five separate states have passed 10th Amendment resolutions denouncing the “Real ID” Act. Several states have protested the Iraq War by passing non-binding resolutions calling for the release of National Guard troops from Federal control. Four states have recently authored legislation pending vote to issue state currencies backed 100% by gold or silver.
Thus, while the Federal Government has become increasingly like INGSOC of Orwell’s dystopian future, the state houses across America have increasingly arched their backs and begun to fight back. The pending healthcare disaster has prompted a similar spectrum of responses.
In 2010, The State of Arizona will vote on a referendum that would limit the legality of public health care delivery systems within the state. It passed both houses of the Arizona legislature and now requires voter ratification. This bill would make a public option similar to the one deleted from the Senate Healthcare Bill unconstitutional in Arizona.
Missouri has a bill that would submit a similar constitutional amendment to the voters for approval. The Missouri Law would make a great template for a GOP alternative reform bill that should be slapped immediately upon the desk of President Obama if the GOP gets Congressional power in 2010. Section 2 of the Missouri Amendment reads as follows.
To preserve the freedom of citizens of this state to provide for their health care, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly or through penalties or fines, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system. A person or employer may pay directly for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for paying directly for lawful health care services. A health care provider may accept direct payment for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for accepting direct payment from a person or employer for lawful health care services. Subject to reasonable and necessary rules that do not substantially limit a person’s options, the purchase or sale of health insurance in private health care systems shall not be prohibited by law or rule.
Bills with similar intent are in legislatures in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and New Hampshire. Bills have stalled in committee in Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota, Indiana, New Mexico and West Virginia. Thus, Congress finds itself confronted with a country enraged over the centralizing and authoritarian tendencies shown in recent Congressional edicts. They have increasingly made the law the enemy of the people and are finding out that people will fight them.
Where this all ultimately leads could be in several directions. Some of those directions are so dark and chaotic that a wise man would consider stocking up on firearms and canned goods. A fundamental compact of trust has been breached by our elected representatives. They have become too presumptive in their arrogant and deracinated sense of unlimited entitlement.
There will be some form of societal uprising against this massive seizure of Federal Power. It would be for America’s benefit if the Conservative Movement cashed in on this politically and took us down a road of decentralization. This would require a fundamental change in the political orientation of much of the GOP leadership as it is currently constituted. The Conservative Movement will have to morph the GOP into a palatable alternative to the governance our nation currently suffers under. To do otherwise may well hasten our nation’s next civil war.